Idetero Irrigation Project – Tanzania

Idetero Village, Mbalamaziwa Ward, Mufindi District, Iringa Region, Tanzania

Community Description
Idetero is a Tanzanian village of around 2,500 individuals, with somewhere around 350-400 working adults. Virtually every household depends on subsistence farming for their livelihood.

Harvested produce is essential in that it constitutes nearly all food consumed within the household. Excess produce, sold in the village and sometimes in nearby town markets, is also the number one source of income to farmers in Idetero.

Idetero is quite spread out geographically. The amount of water stress ranges from high to relatively low, depending on the time of year as well as the geographic location.

Nutrition is a health concern. The lack of availability of vegetables and fruits at affordable prices is a contributing factor to the poor nutrition seen in the poorer segments of the population of Idetero.

One of the most important farming areas in Idetero is the lowland near a small river known as the Little Ruaha. This river in reality is more like a wide creek and its flow is drastically reduced during the late dry season, at which time it is possible to cross from one bank to another in one step. Small-scale irrigation has been used quite sustainably for some time in the low areas near the water body.

Problem Addressed
As the river’s width dwindles, so does the effectiveness of the irrigation ditches. Towards the late dry season, an important period for harvest of vegetables, peppers, and tomatoes, farmers simply use buckets to carry water from the river to their crops. This is time-consuming and quite labor-intensive.

A group of 30 farmers was formed to help address the issue of increasing yield during the dry season. They pooled their money together in order to purchase water pumps from an organization known as Water for the Third World.

The pumps are powered by pedals. The general appearance is similar to an elliptical workout machine. As the farmer stands and walks up and down on the pedals, water is drawn from the river.

Barrels for the water were also purchased and attached to the pumps, but the farmers are limited to manually retrieving water from the barrels.

Project Description
This project is to improve the irrigation system by adding water hoses to the existing pump and barrel used by each of 30 farmers.

Six hoses will be purchased, each 1” diameter and 150 meters long. Each piece of 150-meter hose will be divided into 30 meter segments. A segment will be given to each of the 30 participants.

The hose will simply attach to the outlets from the barrels and used for watering the crops.

Although a family member will have to power the pump while another does the actual watering, watering time for each of the 30 farmers will be reduced drastically by 2 to 4 hours per day.

The hoses have already been located in a nearby market town. Transport costs will be contributed by the group.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the hoses.

In the future, the farmers plan to expand the variety of their crops by coordinating with one another as to what crops each member will grow throughout the year. They will also attend environmental sustainability trainings provided by the volunteer.

Project Impact
150 people, consisting of 30 farmers and their families, will directly benefit. The entire village of 2,500 people will indirectly benefit from the increased vegetable production and decreased prices of produce.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Alexander Jordan

With the time saved, farmers will be able to expand their farm plots, which are currently limited solely by the amount of time needed to cultivate them, by as much as an acre each.

This will increase the amount of produce available locally, thereby making nutritious crops such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and greens more available and more affordable.

Alexander previously completed the Idetero Pump Project – Tanzania.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of the Wiley Jordan, of Monticello, GA, USA, with the help of other friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer Alexander Jordan.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Alexander of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Alexander and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.